iPhone Loses Ground in China; Second-Tier Smartphone Market to be Dominated by Chinese Brands – TrendForce

According to the most recent survey conducted by TrendForce, iPhone now overtakes Samsung in the “brand recognition” category by only 1%. In the “most-anticipated smartphone purchase” and “most-used smartphone brand” categories, the Cupertino company is lags far behind the Korean giant, revealing a continuously declining popularity. Not surprisingly, Huawei, Lenovo, and Xiaomi are all doing well in China. HTC and Nokia, by contrast, are noticeably struggling, and will likely see their popularity further threatened by the rise of Chinese branded smartphones.

Samsung’s brand image, notably, has been improving steadily in China. For Q2 this year, approximately 79.6% of the Chinese interviewees named the Korean company when asked of the smartphone brands that “immediately come to mind.”

A particularly interesting finding of TrendForce’s survey that is worth mentioning here is the apparent struggles experienced by HTC and Nokia. Although the two rank behind only Apple and Samsung in the “brand recognition” category, neither appears to be as popular as they were a year before. In the “most-used smartphone brand” category, for instance, Nokia has slid from first place in 2012 to third place this year. HTC, likewise, fell behind Huawei and came fifth. In this year’s “most-anticipated smartphone purchase” category, Nokia and HTC are in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

In the “brand recognition” category, Xiaomi, Lenovo, and Huawei gained fifth, sixth, and seventh places, respectively, whereas the foreign brand Nokia ended up with fourth place. In the “most-anticipated smartphone purchase” category, all the three Chinese smartphone brands above showed steady growth compared to the same period a year ago. The slight decline spotted in Xiaomi’s percentage share in the “most-used smartphone brand” category is suspected to be caused by the company’s shortage of components as well as decreased shipment levels.

With its impressive specs and low price, TrendForce believes Xiaomi will not only retain its loyal customers, but also see improvements in the area of brand recognition. TrendForce expects Xiaomi’s aggressive pricing strategy to affect the average smartphone prices in the market, and in turn intensify the competition among mid-end smartphone makers.

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